How heavy are the burdens you’re carrying? Are you weighed down with a load of guilt, financial woes, an abusive husband, or the death of a child? Jesus says: “My yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Mat. 11:30)
That almost sounds like a nice cliché, eh? You may be thinking: “Yeah right! You don’t know the problems I’ve got!” I do know where you’re coming from. In fact I used to have a mental picture of oxen with heavy wooden yokes strapped across their necks attached to iron shackles, pulling heavy machinery. Even a light yoke seems like a heavy contraption! Slaves burdened with yokes were forced into heavy labor, directed where to go, and kept on a tight rein by their masters.
Then I got a revelation! My husband Jack used to complain out loud about any problems he faced. I was the quiet one in the family. I would pray about them and go about my day bowed down under the weight. But, Jack? Oh… how he used to infuriate me! First he’d aggravate the situation by his mutterings. But then, after his daily morning walk with the dog, he would come home refreshed, laughing and in a great mood! The problems were still there, so how could he suddenly be so happy? You know, I hate to divulge this – even to myself now – but it literally took me years to figure it out.
Jack’s all-time favorite scripture verse is: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Phil. 4: 13) He stood on that verse, spoke it every day, and during his walks he would give Jesus all his burdens. So simple! I had the faith to believe that God would solve everything, some time. However, I had trouble handing my problems over to him, saying, “Jesus, here is my burden. Would you please carry it, as you promised you would?”
The proof is in the pudding, they say, right? So.. Jack would come back happy, but how about the problems? They did go away? We discovered that God is the God of plenty and that He is never late! A lot of the time we were barely hanging on by the skin of our teeth up until the last moment. But…God! He always came through! He is bringing to mind an incident that happened years ago when the bottom literally fell out of the market my husband’s business was involved in. Where there was great demand merely a year before, suddenly there was nothing. Being self employed, it was difficult to make the transition into a different field instantly. One night, in the twilight zone of falling asleep, Jack exclaimed: “there are two huge angels sitting on our roof! One on each side… I see them clear as day!” He had lifted the situation up to the Lord, asking Him to protect our property during this time of unforeseen upheaval. The Lord in His mercy gave him a vision of the guardian angels He had assigned to protect us! What total peace came over us! He supplied total assurance of His protection.
Yes, His yoke is not a heavy cross to bear. His yoke simply means that whatever you need to go through, no matter how extreme. If you lift it up to Him saying: “Lord, I don’t know the answer. I can’t bear this any longer,” then you will also discover that His Grace is sufficient for you as His strength is made perfect in weakness. (2 Cor. 12:9) When you are weak, He is strong. When you let go and let God, you open the door to miracles and wonderful testimonies of His goodness in your life.
Take off your heavy burdens. Let Him take care of them for you. It’s His Promise, and He never fails! “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me: for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.” (Mat. 11:28-30)